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he hits it high…he hits it deep…he hits it outta here!

March 31, 2011

That’s the home run call of Duane Kuiper, the play-by-play announcer of my be-

loved San Francisco Giants.  I heard it countless times during the reign of Barry

Bonds, who is now undergoing the humiliation of a federal trial for perjury about

his use of steroids.

One way or another, Bonds dug his own grave.  Whether his famous surliness was

natural or drug-induced, he had few friends other than those who idolized him.  He

could get the Giants to the playoffs, but he couldn’t get them World Championship

rings.  That took a jumble of unproven kids and cast-off veterans last October.

Taking all the marbles ended a 56-year drought for the Giants, distancing them

from the hapless Chicago Cubs, who have gone 102 years and are still counting.

I’ve been a Giants fan since the mid-50’s, cheering for McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal,

the Alou brothers and the incomparable Willie Mays, Bonds’s godfather.

It took the Giants several years to emerge from Barry’s inflated shadow.  But they

regrouped magnificently with a stellar starting rotation and smart managing by

Bruce Bochy.  They did precious little to change personnel in the off-season, but

that kept the nucleus of the world champs intact.

And that seems to be working.  My guys, usually mediocre in spring training, just

finished it with the best record of all the teams, sweeping the Oakland A’s in the

Bay series.

Look for renewed offensive production from a slimmed-down Pablo Sandoval, an

MVP run from emerging star Buster Posey, and shots at the Cy Young award from

Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.  Also watch for rookie Brandon

Belt to make some noise.  Anything we get from Barry Zito will be a blessing after

his abysmal second half last year.

Of all the major sports, baseball is the most humbling.  No matter how good a team

is, it will have several losing streaks.  Injuries are numerous and all the players are

hurting by the end of the season.  You have to pace yourself as a fan.  I drink plenty

of fluids and get lots of rest.  It’s easy to catnap during a game and not miss much.

I assume Obama will throw out the first pitch, as is the custom.  Foes will rebuke

him for taking time away from issues like the war in Libya and unemployment.

If he didn’t show up at the ballpark, foes would rebuke him for not respecting tra-


Folks, let’s all take a deep breath today and remember what’s really important.

The Giants are playing their arch-rivals, the evil Los Angeles Dodgers.  I’ll catch

the broadcast one way or another, and I hope I hear Kuiper’s home run call (just

for  the Bay Area boys, of course). Today and today alone, all teams are equidistant

from the World Series.

Play ball!

  1. Brother Brown permalink
    March 31, 2011 10:11 am

    Ah, yes, it is 12:10pm CDT and the KC Royals are still in first place!

    • March 31, 2011 11:16 am

      Revel in it, Willy. I bet they have a better season than last year. They did very well in spring training and even beat my Giants.

  2. dakotagirl permalink
    March 31, 2011 1:16 pm

    Life begins when baseball season starts. Go Twins!!!

    • March 31, 2011 4:21 pm

      Welcome to the blog, dakotagirl. My wife is a Twinkies fan, too. I admire their ability to rise above whatever adversity they face. And I still regret the Giants letting Joe Nathan get away, especially with Brian Wilson on the DL to start the season.

  3. Bella permalink
    March 31, 2011 4:16 pm

    My Phillies start tomorrow on their path to the World Series – you have been warned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • March 31, 2011 4:36 pm

      Hi, Bella. Welcome to the blog. I appreciate the warning. I do fear the Phillies beefed-up starting rotation. Truth be told, I thought they were the best team going into the post-season last year. I was surprised the Giants got past them. It will be even tougher this time around.

  4. Brown Brother permalink
    March 31, 2011 7:24 pm

    Royals lose to Angels in home opener

    Torii Hunter and Jeff Mathis homered, helping Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 Thursday in a chilly season opener.

    …and it’s downhill from here… ;-<((

    • March 31, 2011 8:24 pm

      I feel your pain, bro. Tim Lincecum pitched seven innings against the Dodgers without giving up an earned run, and still took the loss tonight. The guy subbing for our all-star closer Brian Wilson coughs up the winning run in the eighth. Wait til next year!

  5. March 31, 2011 8:52 pm

    Go Padres!

    • March 31, 2011 10:02 pm

      The NL West is gonna be a dogfight this season.

  6. Chris permalink
    April 6, 2011 2:42 pm

    Baseball…….that’s something like Rounders, isn’t it?

    • April 7, 2011 1:21 pm

      Apparently so. I had to look up Rounders. It does seem to be a precursor of baseball. Thanks for the heads-up, Chris.

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